Emirates Airline and the Australian budget carrier Jetstar Airways have struck a codeshare deal that opens up new destinations across Australia, New Zealand and South East Asia.
Jetstar will give Emirates passengers access to 27 new routes and six new destinations, including Bali in Indonesia, Byron Bay in Australia, Dunedin in New Zealand and Siem Reap in Cambodia, the Dubai-based carrier said.
“This move was on the cards from the very day Emirates and Qantas got together and you have to wonder just how weak Qantas is to relinquish a key asset for the benefit of Emirates – ultimately it is passengers who’ll gain from this,” said Saj Ahmad, the chief analyst at StrategicAero Research. “It’s not clear that Jetstar or Qantas will benefit at all – it seems all one-way traffic for Emirates customers, effectively getting free inorganic growth and access to new destinations that further bolster Emirates’ international operations,” Mr Ahmad added.
Jetstar is a unit of Qantas, the struggling Australian carrier which signed a pact with Emirates last March. The codeshare also includes seven domestic routes in Australia to add to the 50 that Emirates already codeshares with Qantas, the Dubai carrier added.
The tie-up means members of Emirates Skywards, its frequent flyer programme, will be able to earn miles for flights on Jetstar-operated routes.
“The deal expands Emirates’ reach, allowing it to sell more destinations while adding new source markets - nothing groundbreaking but many incremental gains that collectively are very worthwhile, said Will Horton, a senior analyst at the Sydney-based Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation.
The UAE's two big carriers, Etihad Airways and Emirates Airline, have been extending their global reach by tying up with other airlines in a trend that is feeding millions of new passengers through their hubs in Abu Dhabi and Dubai.